Part of the plan for the TGO challenge, or another walk, should me and The Lad not get a place (we did!), was to get a two or three man tent and use that for both of us. We did this before – a long time ago.
So, I bought a Terra Nova Polar-Lite 3 and me and Dawn and LTD went to Alwinton the other day to find a spot to camp overnight to see what was what with the new tabernacle.
It was raining gently when we got there and the forecast was for heavy rain to visit us by about 2:00 o’clock, so finding a pitch before then would be quite good. We wandered up the valley from Clennel and, about Just After Lunchtime, we noticed an attractive side-valley which did produce a very nice, fairly sheltered pitch just out of sight of the road.
We put the tent up and settled in and it rained and rained fairly gently, with the occasional heavier burst, pretty much all night. During this time, LTD was tucked up in his bed and barely moved at all for all of 20 hours. This could be a record. He did scoff a bonio, a dentastick, some bits of Dawn’s corned beef butty, his tea and an odd crumb or two of Lancashire cheese.
He was a little bothered by the all-night activities of the Royal Artillery who spent the hours of rainy darkness attacking something very loudly.
I don’t mind these longer winter hibernations at all, though , and in fact, I quite enjoy the inactivity.
A drizzly, driech morning soon brightened up and we packed up and went off for a wander, in the hope of bagging a few Tumps which lie in, or just outside the Kidlandee forest. The first one, Inner Hill (there’s two Inner Hills by the way) was occupied by forest harvesters and public access was closed. And we failed to climb the second after realising that it would be hard to complete the remainder of the route in daylight – so we plodded back to Alwinton through Clennel – covering about 9 miles altogether in the day.
There was, of course, the usual Northumberlan Comedy Footpaths problem – don’t try to follow the bridleway from Heigh by the way. Certainly not on a horse anyway. Just sayin’.
The tent is very heavy, though, I have to say, and whilst walking on the flat with it was fine, any uphill bits were starting to become tortuous. The TGO plan would be to split the tent between two – inner, outer, poles and pegs. But it has three poles, each with around ten fixing points. This could prove to be a hassle. And if one of us had to drop out, the other would either have to cope with 3.5kg of tent, or would have to drop out as well.
As it happens, Dawn has recently bought a Hilleberg Enan and she said I could borrow that – so the problem is solved – we have a tent each, both of which can be put up in a couple of minutes and both of which will ensure our independance should anything go wrong.
Incidentally – I’ve submitted a route for vetting and the first comment from my vetter is that due to construction work on part of my route, I might want to rethink that bit. So I’m rethinking that bit.
The Polar-Lite is a cracking tent, though, quite cavernous inside and will be useful on a couple of static wild camps we have planned, and, for car-camping and so –on.